As Dennis Swift’s book description states, these stones are “scientifically proven to be authentic.” Based on my limited and amateur knowledge of archaeology, I was very skeptical of this claim and prompted me to do my own research beginning with the following question: “Could there be any other explanation of the origin of these mysterious stones?”
Truthfully, it did not take me long to find the answer; for those of you who want to believe these stones’ carvings to be of an ancient origin prepare to be very disappointed. The stones could not be carbon dated because there was no organic material to test. The only way to find the age of the stones would be to identify the strata in which they were found. Unfortunately, the locals could not agree on whether the stones were found in a nearby cave or a riverbed (Polidoro, 2002).
Finally, by 1975 the inquiring minds had their answers. Two of the individuals who sold the stones to Dr. Cabrera, Basilio Uchuya and his wife Irma Gutierrez, admitted that they carved the stones themselves! Later testing revealed that traces of sandpaper were found in the etchings (Polidoro, 2002).
In addition to these revelations I found in The Skeptical Inquirer
article, I found this article
by Dr. Stephen C. Meyers (2005, 2006), contributor to The Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies website
. This website appears to be one by Christians who want to reconcile science and history with the Bible. The site presents arguments from Old earth creationists who like most scientists believe the earth is ancient, Young earth creationists who believe the earth is relatively young (less that 20,000 years old), and Theistic evolutionists who argue that God used the natural process of evolution to bring forth life. With Christianity as its guiding principle, I found Dr. Meyers’ article debunking the stones even more compelling than The Skeptical Inquirer
’s. At least there are honest people out there who will debunk a claim even if the claim would benefit their argument.
Dr. Meyers found even more problems with the authenticity of the Ica Stones. Dr. Meyers noticed that the etchings did not accurately depict any known dinosaurs, found pencil and hacksaw blade tool marks, and dung to make the etchings appear older than they were. Meyers found that some of the stones appeared to be authentic--the ones which did not depict prehistoric creatures.
In the course of Dr. Meyers’ research, he contacted Dennis Swift just prior to his release of Swift’s book in 2005 (the Mt. Blanco book in question). Meyers soon discovered that Swift was not an expert in the field of anthropology, archeology, or geology but earned his doctorate in Systematic Theology (which could explain why I could not find any peer reviewed articles by Swift).
Surly Swift, a self-proclaimed expert on the Ica Stones, would have known that this discovery had already been debunked some thirty years earlier, so why would he go on to publish his “scientifically authentic” book that would “defy evolutionists”? In his interview with Dr. Meyers, Swift admitted that some of the stone carvings were fake (a little nugget of information he apparently saw no need to add to promote his book).
I think it’s safe to close the book on the mystery of the Ica Stones as well as the credibility of the Mt. Blanco authors. So far neither are the experts they claim to be. None of this surprises me. If the Ica Stones were authentic, I think we would have read about them at great length over the past thirty or so years. Such a discovery would force scientists to re-evaluate their methods for decoding the past. Some people fail to realize that fact (not faith) is required to find the truth.
Behe, M. (2005). Scientific orthodoxies. First Things
. December, 158. p. 15-20. Retrieved April 26, 2007 from the Pro-Quest database.
Johnson, V. (2006). A contemporary controversy in American education: Including Intelligent Design in the science curriculum. The Educational Forum
. 70, 3. p. 222 Retrieved April 25, 2007 from the Pro-Quest database.
Polidoro, M. (2002). Ica Stones: Yabba-Dabba-Do! The Skeptical Inquirer
. September/October, 26, 5 p. 24. Retrieved April 24, 2006 from the Pro-Quest database.
(See links throughout body of the post for additional resources not shown here)